Subject: Re: Dolphins

Al Romero (aromero@ACC.FAU.EDU)
Thu, 17 Apr 1997 08:24:02 -0500 (EST)

At 01:37 PM 4/16/97 +0200, you wrote:
>Dear Aldemaro Romero.
>My name is Christina Poulsen. I am 13 years old. I am working on a
>project about dolphins at school. I have found out that you know a lot
>about these fascinating animals. I wonder if you would care to help me?
>I have written down some questions, I will be very happy if you would
>care to answer them for me.
>1. How old can a dolphin get?

The are many species of dolphins and their life spans vary from species to
species. The bottle-nosed dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), for example, lives
about 25 years; the spotted dolphin between 40 and 50. 

>2. When did we first discover dolphins?

Dolphins were known to humans since prehistoric ages. We can find
illustrations of dolphins and other cetaceans in archeological remains of
people from Scandinavia and Greece.

>3. Are there any comparison between dolphins and people?

Many comparisons can be made. Both humans and dolphins are social mammals
able to communicate among themselves. However, both live in radically
different environments; thus their morphological, physiological, and
berhavioral adaptations are quite different. 

>4. What dolphin species is used in the television movie Flipper?

The bottle-nosed dolphin, Tursiops truncatus.

>5. Can dolphins really do the things they do in Flipper, or are
>they       exaggerating?

They can, although most of the behavior you see in that TV show is the
result of trainning by humans.

>6. How long is the pregnancy of a dolphin?

Again, it varies from species to species, but in the bottle-nosed dolphin is
about 12 months.

>7. Does the dolphin get thick when it is pregnant?

Yes. Actually a newborn dolphin is about one fourth of the mother's length
at birth. 

>8. Can a dolphin get twins?

Very rarely.

>I am looking forward to reading your answers. 
>			Best regards 
>				Christina Poulsen.
Aldemaro Romero, Ph.D.		
Florida Atlantic University	(954)236-1125	
College of Liberal Arts		(954)236-1150 (F)
Department of Biology
2912 College Ave.,
Davie, FL 33314